Review of Zuzana’s ZCUT Power Cardio DVDs

I think we’re all in agreement that I have a girl crush on Zuzana.

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(photo source)

She has a soft-spoken, kind and approachable demeanor, and at the same time, creates these crazy intense workouts that leave me shaking in a pool of sweat. How can someone so nice make my muscles cry so effectively?

Oh, and I have serious ab envy.

Zuzana

I’m gonna go do a plank now.

As a fitness instructor, it’s always so refreshing to have the chance to take a class or do a DVD so you don’t have to think about your workout. When you’re used to creating them so often (and coaching along the way), it’s nice to zone out and just do it. Whenever I’m looking for someone else to kick my booty, I know I can count on a ZWOW. When I found out that Zuzana was coming out with a set of cardio DVDs, I knew it would be something worth checking out since I love her online workouts so much. When I saw the price tag ($15 for the set), I decided it was destiny and ordered some.

Zcut

I haven’t had a chance to try all of the workouts yet -I’ve done 4, plus the warm up and bonus abs workouts- but thought it was worth a little post, since quite a few of ya have asked how I like them so far.

Here are some details:

-It’s a 3-DVD set, which has 12 workouts, a warm up, cool down and bonus abs workout

-The set also includes a workout calendar, plus basic nutrition tips if you want to follow around. This is a helpful tool for scheduling rest days.

-Each workout is around 10-15 minutes and if you do the warm up and cool down each time, you still will not be working out for longer than 30 minutes. This makes it a fantastic option for those who don’t have a lot of time to workout, especially since all of the DVDs can be done at home with minimal equipment (chair, mat, something to jump over)

-Before each workout, Zuzana breaks down the moves with proper form so you know what to expect, and how to do it properly. The workouts are done in rounds for time, so the key is to complete them as quickly as possibly, while still utilizing proper form.

Zuzana

My thoughts:

-The movements are very high impact and intense, so I wouldn’t recommend them for fitness beginners or those with injuries. There are a couple of the moves that I’ve had to modify, since I knew I wouldn’t be able to complete the rest of the high rep set with proper form.

-I wouldn’t do these types of workouts on consecutive days. Like I mentioned, they’re high intensity, and it’s a better choice for your heart (it’s a muscle and needs rest, too!) to alternate cardio intensities. I’d space them out throughout the week, or use them as a tough cardio HIIT session after weights (which is how I’ve been using the DVDs).

-They are very, very similar to the workouts you can find for free online. However, Zuzana provides a ton of awesome content at no cost to her thousands of viewers, I’m assuming she’s primarily paid via YouTube ad revenue. I these DVDs are a great way to financially support her, and I love that these workouts can be done without an internet connection. (I take my computer to the gym and will do them in the training room, which doesn’t get a good WiFi signal.) On a non-workout related note, some of you may have read online about her troubled past, and she’s also been through a lot personally in the past year or so. From what I can tell, in addition to her abs of steel, she has a heart of gold. She’s built amazing success for herself and is proof that you don’t need to finish the same way you start. 

I’ll definitely continue using the DVDs as a fun change-up in my workout routine, along with my beloved TurboFire, NYC Ballet Company and Physique 57.  

Hope you’re all having a happy morning so far <3

See ya later today with a fun Valentine’s gift guide from Meg!

xoxo

Gina

New on the Family page: Toddler DIY Valentines

More posts about Zuzana’s workouts/BodyRock (which is now called DailyHIIT; Zuzana is no longer a host):

The Stages of BodyRock

BodyRock vs. Insanity 

Focus on: YouTube fitness

Winter Shape Up! Today is your Hill challenge and Ab burner. Pick any ab burner from my YouTube channel (or do a couple!) and for your hill challenge, you’re going to focus on resistance. If you need some ideas, check out this workout and this workout.

How’d you do? Make sure to check in by leaving a comment below! Two lucky winners will receive the same scarf I’m wearing in this pic, courtesy of White Plum Boutique.

Me christie meg  1 of 1

I’ll also send a set of the Zuzka DVDs to each of the two winners, just because I’m enjoying them so much [sponsored by Bella and Caroline] :)

Congratulations to the lucy tank winner from yesterday!

Catherine C. said: Holy arm burn!!! Did workout 3 today and will be using tomorrow as my rest day…I’m gonna need it ;)

Send me an email to fitnessista at gmail dot com and we’ll get your prize on the way! xo

 

 

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Comments

  1. I can NEVER motivate myself to do hills on my own so I’m glad you’re forcing us to do them in the shape-up ;)

  2. I love the scarf! I will be checking out the DVD’S! Thank you!!

  3. Today is my favorite yoga practice: Fitness Yoga @ Lifetime. That was my ab workout as we did lots of plank holds and so so many chatarungas! I also did a hill challenge on the elliptical.

    Cute scarf!

  4. Loving the hill workouts…just finished the hills and the ab burner from last week!

  5. Just took a Pop Physique class! Definitely a booty burner!

  6. Shaina Anderson says:

    I’ll be honest, there’s no way hills are happening today. After the jump lunges and a hike with the beeb on my back yesterday…mama has a date with the foam roller tonight. :-) I’ll do a few ab burners to make up for it though!

  7. i like the daily suggestion on what kind of workout to do. gives me motivation to focus on my abs!

  8. Just did one of your youtube ab burners. HOLY COW. It was 5 minutes of hurt. I love short workouts–no excuses.

    Zuzana’s workouts are tough but short–gotta love ‘em.

  9. How appropriate for the ab burner to be the day you show pics of Zuzana’s abs :) Motivation right there! Shaking body for the ab burner..oh yeahhhh!

    Have a good day!

  10. I like the check-ins–they keep me accountable!

  11. I love the scarf and the DVDs look intense! :-)

  12. Thanks for the review! I love Zuzka!

  13. I went to the gym bright and early this morning and did the treadmill hill workout you posted in week2 and also did the plank AB burner you posted in week 2 and they were just as hard as last week!

  14. The hills were a killer today but I managed to leave the gym with a smile on my face! I love your workouts and I am not the type to shy away from getting my sweat on at the gym

  15. I was raining sweat from this hill workout today!!! I did the HallowLean hill challenge and paired it with the 4 minute plank ab burner and it was pretty cool to see sweat dripping on the floor. ;) Thanks Gina!

  16. I tried your Halloween hill challenge and phew that was a good workout! especially followed up with the ab burner exercises!

  17. I am digging the plank workout/ab burner from last week!

  18. Love the Winter Shape-Up! And I’m psyched to try the ZCut Workouts, they look amazing!

  19. About to ab-burner it up and then probably take the kids on a walk/sprint trip to the park with the jogger. Really tempted to get those Zuzka DVDs (unless I win them of course!)….looks like a great option for a busy mama :).

    Have a great day Gina!

  20. Did the HalloLEAN hill workout and six pack in a sweater ab burner. Holy muscle burn! Thank you!!!

  21. I did workout 2 yesterday and I feel so much stronger this week that I did doing it last week. I’m a little behind in the workouts and I’m kind of scared to do workout 3! I might have to try those DVDs I feel like I get a better workout while going along with a video than just following a list or pictures.

  22. I was so happy to see your review on the Zuzka ZCUT DVD’s! I’ve done 6 of the workouts so far and LOVE THEM! I find them to be quick, challenging, and effective. I love that you can feel completely spent in under 30 minutes (including warmup and cool down). They are great for mornings where I dont’ have much time but still want to get a great workout in. I agree fully with you review, and appreciate your brief explanation of her “past” but truly love how you highlighted (literally) the point that she is “proof that you don’t need to finish the same way you start.” Isn’t that the point of everything? Isn’t this why we workout? So we can be healthier, stronger, whatever our goal may be, than when we started? When I heard Zuzana had come out with this series, I read a bunch of reviews online that only seemed to want to trash her for her past. What that has to do with this DVD series, I don’t know. We all have a past. Nobody is perfect. I just kept thinking, “how would these people like to have something they’d rather forget from their past, brought up for discussion by thousands of people who have never even met them? Why are people so quick to judge? We don’t know her situation. So thank you for keeping it positive, as you always do on your blog. My review of her DVD series is based on her DVD series alone. Zuzana is positive, super sweet, genuine, and makes me want to keep giving it my all in each workout. She’s real, and I like how she struggles at times during the workout too. She could have easily edited it to look like she could do the whole thing without resting or breathing hard, but she didn’t. It’s real, she’s real, and I’m proud of her overcoming whatever her “past” was, and moving forward to help others. I’ve had to overcome hard things from my “past”, and it’s made me the strong person I am today. Everyone has a past. The key is to not dwell on the past. It’s called a past for a reason. Thanks again Gina, for all the positivity on your blog and helping us all move foward. Now that I’m all fired up, I’m off to do my workout.

  23. Lindsay Boggan says:

    Thanks for the review! I would LOVE to try out the DVDs!

  24. Holy abs! I think I could eat like 1,000 calories a day and make my new 9-5 doing crunches and STILL not have those abs! Totally crazy!

  25. did my hill workout a couple days ago and was excited to discover that my hill-running skills have improved! there’s a set of crazy painful stairs that go up to an area with a beautiful view–it’s pretty much impossible to run up the stairs because the steps are so high, but luckily there’s two other ways to get down/up–a winding gradual incline up the hill, or a steeper incline. i did the stairs 3x: first i “ran” (read: climbed) up the stairs, then tried the winding incline, then did the steeper one. great workout!

  26. i did the other week’s ab burner and yep, it still hurts – but in a good way. :)

  27. I have to take it easy, dealing with some leg injuries, but I still did the hills + abs :) great workout!

  28. Umm let me start off by saying Zuzana has one of THE most inspiring bodies ever! I did the six pack in a sweater workout, modifying the reverse crunches for knee raises on a dip station- my abs were shaking! Looking forward to doing the cardio portion later tonight after class.

  29. my abs are SORE but in a great way!!!

  30. Did Sixpack in a Sweater workout, which is one of my favorites! I’ll have to try some of her online workouts–not sure why I haven’t checked them out yet!

  31. Gina, I loved workout #3 of the winter shape up! I am still sore today. Thank you so much! I would totally buy a DVD from you!

  32. Jillian Kelly says:

    my abs are shaking! no more hovering!

  33. I would love to use these videos after the baby comes! Getting sick to death of elliptical and treadmill walking.

  34. I agree with the girl above me, you should totally make a dvd! Your workouts are awesome. I’ve never tried Zuzana’s dvds, but def. something to look into for when I’m bored with my routine.

  35. Oh. My. Gosh. Heres to hoping I can pick up my daughter tomorrow! My abs are going to be on fire for days!

  36. My legs are feeling those hills! I plan to reward them with a foam rolling sesh! I’d love to try the zuzana dvd to mix things up ;)

  37. Did WSU #3 + treadmill HIIT today, quite the sweatfest! just got the ZCUT DVDs in the mail and I cannot wait to try them out! Always loved Zuzana’s online workouts.

  38. Man those hills killed! I’d love to try that DVD- Zuzana is so hardcore I love her!

  39. Cellabella says:

    I like the planks a lot, something something so simple yet effective. Thank you so much for the giveaway!!

  40. I’m totally messed up schedule wise thanks to our crazy snowstorm (yay for living in the NW) so I think today is going to end up being a rest day. Trying to keep get in lots of fruits and veggies though! I’ve never done a Zwow workout but I’d enjoy trying one. I *really* wish trainers would wear more clothes though. I don’t mind showing off the abs, but sometimes the boobs flying everywhere while they’re jumping up and down make me a little uncomfortable, especially if my husband comes in the room while I’m working out. I’m not a prude or anything, its just not what I want to see while I’m working out.

  41. My abs are screaming at me! But in a good way ;) Would love to try the DVDs!!

  42. Hills and abs in! Thanks for keeping me in check Gina. Woohoo!

  43. Did the hill workout on the stair master during lunch at work! I will be doing an ab burner this evening while I make 100 calorie chocolate cupcakes for v-day … yummm

  44. I started with the hill workout. I got my husband to do it with me and he said it kicked his a** :). My mom came over in the middle of my ab workout. I told her to try some moves with me. She has not done any ab workouts for years and was pleased that you offered modifications to some of your workouts. After we were done I gave her one of my amazeballs (she loved it) and let’s just say you have another follower :).

  45. It’s snowy and cold so instead of hills I did stairs in my house :)

  46. Hey Gina!

    I got these DVD’s when you first mentioned them a few weeks ago. Like you, I have always been an admirer of Zuzana and did her online workouts. Love her!

    I have done 4 workouts so far, and I think they’re great. Sometimes after work, I am not up for a full 1 hour workout. These are perfect. I usually do 2 workouts and I feel like I got in a great workout in little time. These workouts are no joke!

    She is also a dog-lover, which wins points in my book. ;)

  47. Took a jaunt on the treadmill and did my hills and an an burner. It went by so fast! Looking forward to tomorrow’s workout already. It’s so nice to have a plan like this! It prevents me from spending my gym time figuring out what to do so I don’t do the same thing every day. Love that scarf!

  48. Definitely gonna check out the dvds! I have such a girl crush on Jillian Michaels, these look intense, too! Love your scarf :)

  49. WSU inspired me to try the giganto hill by my running trail today! I’ve never run up it before. As I was mentally pumping myself up for the upcoming hill, I spaced it, slipped on some gravel, and bloodied up my hands and knee. I still ran up that hill though! Despite my pain, I actually look forward to incorporating that hill into my regular workout schedule in the future.

  50. I love Zuzana’s workouts–they’re so short! The ab workout was killer!

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